Nellie & Baby John
Nellie (Welch) & Bill Fry
Nellie Pearl (Welch) Fry
Born:   11 Dec 1924
(17 1/2 miles west of) Campo, Baca County, Colorado
A brief history of Nellie Pearl (Welch) Fry
Nellie Pearl Welch was born to Lillie Pearl (Wiley) and Richard Raymond Welch on December 11, 1924 17 1/2 miles west of Campo in Baca County in southeastern Colorado. Her father owned a sheep and cattle ranch, along with a few horses. She was the 3rd child and the 3rd girl in the Welch family.
The education of the Welch children was interrupted by the sheer struggle for survival. The children were expected to contribute to the care of the ranch and to see to the needs of the family. It was a harsh existence, but rich with experience.
Nellie's parents separated in her youth, and eventually Nellie joined her mother in Oregon. One day while out picking strawberries in the fields, a young man came along who helped her fill her baskets. It was a bountiful day for young Nellie, and one which would last a lifetime.
Nellie and William Franklin Fry were married on 16 June 1942 in Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon. William (or Bill as he was called) was born to Ruth Edna (Hawkins) and George Louis Fry on 26 May 1924 in Lafayette, Indiana.
Nellie and Bill owned and operated William Fry Trucking. It grew from a single truck business into a vibrant commercial operation. Nellie organized the day-to-day business end of the company while Bill drove, repaired and managed the trucks. Their trucking venture lasted 50 years.
The Fry's eldest son was born in 1943 and was followed by another son and two daughters [all living]. Early on in their children's lives, they began a tradition of taking the family to Santa Cruz yearly for vacation, which became a living family legacy for their children and grandchildren. Bill and Nellie encouraged their children to explore their interests and supported their endeavours with enthusiasm and with financial support. The Fry's purchased a cabin in South Lake Tahoe, so they could take their children and grandchildren away from the constant ringing of the telephone for a respite from their vibrant trucking operations.
Nellie was an enthusiast for photography, painting, and genealogy. Never content with her education, she went back to college as an adult and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree.
Nellie developed a severe case of Parkinson's disease, which ravaged this once vivacious woman. Bill sacrificed beyond what one would think possible, still driving truck into his 70's in order to provide Nellie the care she needed in order to keep her in her home throughout her illness.
Nellie passed away July 15, 1998. She was interred in Rural Cemetery in Stockton, California.
Having worked so hard to take care of his Nellie, Bill Fry felt blessed to fall in love once again to his "Gloria". They were married in Reno, Washoe County, Nevada on July 28, 1998. Bill Fry died on January 19, 2008 with his family by his side at Hospice House of San Joaquin County. He was buried in Rural Cemetery in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.
[Researcher Note: My Aunt Nellie was a remarkable woman. I could never do justice to my experience of her. Nellie was a beautiful young girl who blossomed into a beautiful woman. The beauty of my Aunt Nellie did not stop at her exterior however. Aunt Nellie was one of the most generous, caring woman that I have ever known. Her love of her family and of those around her blessed all of us.
Christmas was my favorite time at the Fry house. Somehow, Aunt Nellie was able to transform her home into a winter wonderland. Whenever we were blessed enough to get to share the holidays in Stockton, I would marvel at the tinsel and snow, and wonder how the Fry's brought the magic of Christmas into their home.
I well remember the time Aunt Nellie and Uncle Bill invited my brother and I to join their family in their yearly adventure in Santa Cruz. Daily, we would go to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk where we would brave the death defying rollercoaster, play amidst the hall of mirrors, eat popcorn, and cotton candy, play in the sand at the beach. With their own busy family of four, I would think Aunt Nellie's hands would have been full enough, but she widened her apron to fit in two more.
My Momma admired Nellie a great deal. She used to talk about how Nellie would struggle to make sure all of her nephews and nieces were well taken care of through the Christmas holidays. One of her sister's daughters was of an age with Nellie's eldest daughter, and each year, she would purchase two of the best gifts: One for her daughter, and one for her sister's daughter.
I owe my interest in genealogy to my Aunt Nellie and my father. Nellie's perseverance through the years to put together a cohesive family tree gave me the foundation for my own genealogy pursuits. I hope I have done her proud through my efforts.
If I had someone that I would hold as an idol -- that I would like to have grown up to be -- it would clearly have been my Aunt Nellie. She was a woman of grace, wisdom, and kindness.]
-- Ellen Anne (Welch) Rowley
1- 1930 U.S. Federal Census -- Carriso, Baca, Colorado. Listed (Page 2 of 3) Richard Welch 35, Lillie Welch 25,
Bessie Welch 8, Thelma Welch 7, Nellie Welch 5, Douglas Welch 2 1/12
2- U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002
3- U.S. Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002
4- Social Security Death Index